Deals round-up – Snookered by Warburg Pincus

Warburg Pincus has invested GBP10 million ($15.8 million) in the start up of The Sportsmasters Network Limited (TSN), which is located at www.TSNsnooker.com. TSN intends to develop a website aimed at the international snooker market.

The company has secured exclusive access on a long term contract related to Internet publication to many of the world’s top players, including Stephen Hendry. For the time being, most of the players that have entered into a contract with TSN are within Ian Doyle’s Cuemasters management stable. There will also be an online betting service on the site.

The TSN site is currently operational but on a testing basis, a full launch is not expected until August this year. However news and results of the World Championship held in mid April this year were planned to be up and running.

Users of the site will be able to search data, specifically for things like compiling past form profiles of the bigger players.

TSN has also signed contracts with BBC, BskyB, Talk Radio, The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, The Scottish Mirror, and the World Snooker Association official photographer. TSN, commenting on the size of the market, points to BBC and Sky each transmitting around 200 hours of snooker per year, and ESPN International which has the right to broadcast snooker on its international network that transmits to 99 million households in 14 languages.

TSN was advised in the funding by Investec Henderson Crosthwaite.